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Several questions opened up Wednesday's consolidation task force meeting. The group discussed things like whether the they should do the bulk of the work themselves or bring in outside resources to help.

Co-Chair Representative Nikki Randall says, "There's no doubt about it that we're going to have to bring in experts, because none of us qualify. So, we want to consult those who have been working in specific areas so that they can guide us on what's out there and which direction we should go in."

They plan to bring in people like auditors, actuaries, financial advisors, and even consolidation consultants. City and county department heads helped them compile that list. They also broke down what they think each committee should consider most as they start making decisions.

Starting with the finance committee, top concerns included determining how they want to structure their accounting services and finding a software for payroll.

Committee chair Pealie Toliver says, "We have a lot to try to put together in a short period of time from a financial standpoint, so we feel very challenged."

Technology was a buzz word throughout almost every committee's presentation.

Many department heads recommended getting a head start on a data management program that can accommodate all of the city's and county's records and finances.

The Human Resources group focused their attention on determining what employees will be needed, synchronizing pay cycles, and writing job descriptions.

Since the transition task force does not have a budget, the city and county will have to pay for any outside services they bring in to help with these tasks.

The task force decided to start taking in consultant proposals. Committees will discuss those and other options when they start their meetings next week.

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